Fail to Fab: Social Media and the Breakup

By Jess Downey, Copy Cutie

credit: woodleywonderworks (Flickr)We’ve shown you how to flirt on Twitter and clued you in on when to friend your match on Facebook, but when things turn towards something serious, the rest of social media is a whole other ball game. Here’s a special Fail to Fab series all about tackling the various other apps you’re using on your smartphone during each stage of a relationship.

Fail: A friend of mine recently ended a relationship that was getting pretty serious — as in, close-to-putting-a-ring-on-it kind of serious. The gal definitely didn’t see it coming because immediately following their breakup she started posting things like, “You think you know someone, but then they totally blindside you and break your heart” across all of her social media platforms. Eventually, people started asking what happened and she responded with bits and pieces of the story. The more posts she wrote, the more her ex started to sound like an awful villain from her POV. And since she was also connected to his friends and family, it was only a matter of time before they read all her posts too, which started a Jerry Springer-like explosion of insults. Can we say messy?

Fab: Breakups are never fun, especially when you don’t see them coming. But pouring your heart out all over social media will only make the situation that much worse. If you need a shoulder to cry on, go to a close friend — in person.

In the case of a messy breakup, it’s a good idea to just delete and unfollow each other. If you choose to stay friends, handle things delicately. If you’re the breaker, avoid rubbing anything in, especially if you feel happier or are dating new people. And if you’re the breakee, don't post about the breakup itself, or publicly bash your ex. Also steer clear of posting/Tweeting any pics or sayings with a “that’ll show ‘em” tone — we aren’t in high school anymore.

Things can get tricky if you were FBO. Change your status without falling into all the drama. When questions arise, simply say, “Things didn’t work out,” or even better, answer people individually, offline.

And whatever you do, avoid FUI (Facebooking Under the Influence). It’s OK to go out for a drink (or 10) with pals to sooth a breakup. Just make sure you steer clear of social media while you’re out. If necessary, delete the apps from your phone.

Remember: While it’s easy to feel like you’re in your own little world, anyone (and everyone) has access to social media. You might be the person who likes to update your status whenever something happens, but be mindful that dating involves another person, too. There are some things about relationships that should really just stay between those involved.